OPINION: Embrace the spam

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spam-email-sample-of-a.jpgSo after yesterday’s rubbish McAfee scare-mongering attempt to get us all to sign up for one of its products, us lot here at Tech Digest thought it might be good to take a look at a sample of genuine spam.

You never know, one of those lottery emails just might be the real deal. And what if, one fortunate evening, you find yourself in the company of a willing lady and could actually really do with some herbal Viagra and a winky that’s five times its original size?

Spam could be a life saver. And if nothing else, it’s always very entertaining…

The best spam message I ever received was one pretending to be from Barclays bank. It warned me that a series of malicious fake emails were going around, asking people to sign in with their bank details in order to steal their logins and passwords and nick money from their accounts.

The spam message then asked me to sign in with my bank details in order to protect myself from such threats. It was a genius attempt. I almost gave them my full internet banking login details just as a reward for their clever scheme.

It was such a great message, in fact, I even took a screenshot of it and saved it, knowing that one day I might be able to put it on the internet for the amusement of others. That day is NOW!

barclays-bank-spam.gif

Isn’t that wonderful? You can imagine the laughs as they sent this one out. “Ha ha! It’s perfect! We’ve covered off all the possible angles with this one, Maurice. Look up the local Ferrari dealer – the cash should be flowing our way in minutes!”

But they’re not all as clever as the Barclays bank double-bluff security scam. Here are a few of the poorly constructed messes that BT has very kindly directed to my spam folder over the last two days.

RECENT SPAM SUBJECT LINES

Attain ultra large measurements (BIG TAPE MEASURE SUPPLIER?)

Lengthen it fast and simply (SOME OF MY BOOKMARKS ALREADY DO THAT)

Get immense rod for yourself (I’M NOT REALLY INTO FISHING, THANKS)

Huge tool to please your lassie (SHE’S IMPRESSED ENOUGH BY MY EXISTING POWER DRILL, THANKS)

Enlarge upsize and upgrade your organ (I’LL FORWARD THIS TO MY LOCAL VICAR, THE CHURCH ORGAN IS RATHER SMALL)

All Controlleds without Doctor Approval! (I DO NOT UNDERSTAND)

Feel yourself fine and dandy! (HOW ABSOLUTELY SUPER!)

I’m averaging about 10 such confusing messages a day, and that’s with an email address I’ve used for seven years now. Two or three get through the spam guard most days, providing a bit of light relief – especially if you imagine someone stupid out there might actually click on one of the links.

Spam is a minor inconvenience. It’s even exciting if, for a brief moment, you think you’ve got an email about something proper and exciting. Plus, if you’re in an office, the other people think you’ve just got a genuine work-related email. It could even be from the boss. So laugh, then do some furious pretend typing as if replying. They’ll be intrigued. You’ll look popular. A bit more of the day has been wasted.

So thanks, spam. Thanks for being an amusing diversion and thanks for the momentary thrill of hearing the email received noise. They might try to stop you, but I’ll still be reading, chuckling and forwarding the best ones to everyone I know.

Gary Cutlack

2 comments

  • the spammers who get my money are the ones who can be bothered to proof read their missives – bad barclays spam man!

  • The biggest mistake is opting to use one of the biggest, most well known free providers like GMail or Hotmail for your email if you don’t want to put up with spam and scam artists.

    The other is in actually opening those spam messages you do receive. Many contain graphic links or code that once loaded in your browser will verify that this inbox exists to the sender and will put you on a fast-track to more ‘extend your junk’… junk than you’ll know what to do with.

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